Monday, October 17, 2005

Maryam Namazie

Via The Guardian, we read of Iranian-activist Maryam Namazie whose ideas merit significant spotlight:

It was the decision of broad-minded politicians in Ottawa to allow Sharia courts in Canada which did it for her. They said if they were not established, the Muslim minority would be marginalised and to say otherwise was racism pure and simple.

After years of hearing this postmodern twaddle, Namazie flipped. Why was it, she asked, that supposed liberals always give 'precedence to cultural and religious norms, however reactionary, over the human being and her rights'? Why was it that they always pretended that other cultures were sealed boxes without conflicts of their own and took 'the most reactionary segment of that community' as representative of the belief and culture of the whole.

In a ringing passage, which should be pinned to the noticeboards of every cultural studies faculty and Whitehall ministry, she declared that the problem with cultural relativism was that it endorsed the racism of low expectations.

'It promotes tolerance and respect for so-called minority opinions and beliefs, rather than respect for human beings. Human beings are worthy of the highest respect, but not all opinions and beliefs are worthy of respect and tolerance. There are some who believe in fascism, white supremacy, the inferiority of women. Must they be respected?'


doubtinggaurav said...


In other words "Must tolerance condone intolerance" ??


Closethisaccount said...
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Yadunandan said...

Agree, while minorities are tradinationally granted more space (?) than the dominant groups - certain aspects should be equal to all citizens, including uniform law application. Any tampering with these pillars is bound to have negative consequences on the whole of society.


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